We’ve all been in a position where we really wanted to say no, but we found ourselves saying yes. Yes to a project at work when the old project is still in your desk. Yes to meet up with a friend for dinner when you’re exhausted from work. Yes to a child wanting a toy when your budget is tight this month. Logically, you know that you “should” say no but there is an emotional component that leads to the “Sure I can do that”.

Looking for approval from others
When you look outside of yourself for approval, you will find that you won’t be able to say no because you want that person to approve of you. What better way to get someone to approve of you then to say yes to their wishes. Where does your need for approval come from? That’s an important question to explore because without resolving your need to people please, you will not be able to do what is right for you.

Putting others first
Saying yes when we mean no also comes from a place where we deny our needs and think of the needs of others first. This is a very common pattern with parents. They deny themselves things and give 100% to those children. The downfall to that is when you give 100% the first time to someone else, you won’t have any to give to yourself. Then you aren’t recharging and becoming more available to those you care about. Why do you put yourself last? The answer will help you to deal with underlying feelings, such as shame, that lead you to deny your self.

Not sticking to your values and priorities
This is a common theme when it comes to saying yes to things related to money. If you value saving money and living within your means, then there might be many times when you have to say no to things so you can stick to your priorities of saving money. If you value your personal time, then saying no when you are asked to stay late at work. What are your values and when have there been times when you said yes to something that was in direct conflict with your values?

There are questions under each section. They are a good start to journaling on this subject if you are struggling with being a “Yes Man” when you really want to
be a “Thank you but no” person.


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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.